February 17th I recently read a novel by Suzanne Collins titled, The Hunger Games. What I recall most about this book is the magnificent emphasis put on food. Every single meal eaten by the characters was described in such great detail that you would think the author was a former culinary student. As the name persists, food is a significant issue in this book. It’s a luxury for people living in the districts and a commodity for the capital. People from the districts often died of starvation while people who lived in the capital pushed a button to summons a three course meal.
The person from a district who won the Hunger Games was guaranteed the fortune of food and money for the rest of their lives. Wow, what a prize! What I enjoyed most about reading this book was the way the author introduced and described all of the characters. I had a great picture in my mind about each and every character and I felt myself thinking about some of them even when they were absent from a page or two. It became so interesting that before I could finish the book, I had to turn to the internet to look up the characters of the movie. I just had to see them in the flesh!
My favorite character for most of the story was Katniss Everdeen, the beautiful, spirited tomboy. I could really relate to her like I could no other character in the book. I admired her for taking care of her little sister and especially her mother. I too, had to be the parent child in my household when growing up. I was not surprised at all when she took the place of her sister, the underdog, in the Hunger Games. Because I too, have lost someone close to me, I knew that hunting not only fulfilled the purpose to feed her family but that it helped her to cope with the death of her father, whose bow and arrows she cherished.
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My best friend during my teenage years was a guy named Brian, so it was easy for me to understand the relationship Katniss shared with her best friend Gale; the good looking guy that the other girls fawned over, but not her. She was not the kind of girl to go gaga over a guy’s good looks. It was an intimate relationship that grew from so many mutual feelings about life and their shared common interest. They complimented each other like peanut butter and jelly. I loved that they loved each other that way. Not like a brother and sister, who often squabble. Not like a husband and wife; it’s much deeper than that.
Those relationships are tainted. Then she entered the Hunger Games and so did Peeta Mellark. Peeta was my second favorite character in the story. He was much softer around the edges than Katniss but he looked out for her like a man would look out for the woman he loves. Even before the Hunger Games, there was a time when he took a beating from his mother for burning some bread. The reason he burned the bread was so he could give it to Katniss who he knew was hungry and hiding in his back yard. It was that foreshadowing in the story that made me believe him later when he confessed his love for Katniss.
Katniss was not sure about his love because she always thought it was a ploy for him to get further in the games, but I knew better. Due to the circumstances in the arena she almost convinced me a couple of times that he was not being true, but I held on fast. At times I wanted to yell at her for being so stubborn and at other times I admired her for not being so easy to fool. It was a roller coaster ride! Weather it was real or not, the romance they shared had me hooked. I felt like one of the spectators in the book itself! I was rooting for them to win the games so they could go home and live happily ever after.
It was this relationship that has me looking forward to reading Catching Fire, the second book in the trilogy. I loved that Peeta came into the picture and shared emotional moments with Katniss. I know Katniss can take care of herself but I can’t resist wanting her to let Peeta take care of her emotionally. I know she can confide in Gale about her feelings, but it’s not the same; in their relationship they are equals. I recently saw a picture of Katniss, Gale and Peeta which almost guarantees a love triangle of some sort. I’m excited just thinking about it!
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